I mentioned on Friday that Andrew spent the night with my stepmom on Thanksgiving night – and by all accounts, he had a fantastic time. What I haven’t mentioned, because I think I’ve been in denial, is what he lost while he was there: Pooh.
My phone rang on Friday evening, and it was my stepmom letting me know that she’d be taking Andrew to dinner at McDonalds before bringing him home. “Here’s the thing,” she told me, “We can’t find Pooh.” I sputtered out some sort of response, I can’t really remember what, and she assured me she’d do some more searching before she brought Andrew back. They showed up an hour or so later, Poohless. The search had been futile.
My stepmom was obviously upset, so I tried to downplay how upset I was as much as I could -- both that night, and when she called me the next day, clearly in tears, to let me know she still hadn’t found Pooh. She continued to search all weekend, and when she came over last night for her regular Sunday night visit, she still hadn’t located Pooh anywhere. I continued to downplay how I felt, because I really don’t want to upset her or make her feel guilty.
Here’s the thing, though: I’m absolutely devastated. I feel so awful for Andrew, first of all, although he seems to be taking it pretty well. I’ve been coming up with lots of silly things for Pooh to be doing whenever Andrew asks, like “Pooh is across the street playing with the diggy-dirt” and “Pooh went to the fire station to help the firefighters” and “Pooh went to the North Pole to tell Santa what you want for Christmas.” I’ve also, of course, told him the truth: that Pooh is at Neena’s house, and Neena is doing her best to find him and bring him home. He seems to accept the fact that he doesn’t have Pooh for the time being, and he’s gone to bed just fine without it.
But oh, I am so upset at the loss of Pooh. I knew Andrew would be fine without him (even if not right away), and I knew he would eventually have given Pooh up on his own anyway. But here’s the thing: When that day finally came, when Andrew was finally done with Pooh, I was going to save Pooh. I was going to put him away somewhere safe, so I could take him out every once in a while and marvel at the fact that my growing boy once loved and cherished him so much. I imagined myself stroking Pooh gently when Andrew left for college, crying for my baby that was all grown up, using Pooh to wipe my tears. I know that sounds silly and melodramatic, but the point is, I wanted to have that memento of Andrew’s babyhood forever. I wanted that so much.
Pooh has been lost lots of times (we even misplaced him once at the zoo; he was eventually found ogling the penguins, but that was the last time we took Pooh out to any public place), but he’s always been recovered eventually. I’m hoping that’s the case this time, too. Pooh has to be somewhere in her house; it’s not like he walked away on his own. My real fear is that my sister’s dog (the namesake for another of Andrew’s stuffed animals) ate Pooh. He’s been known to do that before, with things like socks and underwear and bras. My stepmom has assured me that things come out of Gus Gus the same way they go in, but, um, I don’t think I could ever look at Pooh the same way again if he’d once been covered in...you know...poo. If that is the case, I can’t imagine the things Pooh has seen. I don’t want to imagine them.
Joe is off tomorrow and plans to go over to my stepmom’s house and continue the hunt for Pooh. Keep your fingers crossed that he finds him -- for Andrew’s sake and mine.